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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Almost a Tower of Babel-the myriad versions of the Hours

I have been doing a mini-study on all the different versions of the Liturgy of the Hours. This began when I was at Tyburn in Eire and realized all the different translations of the psalms and the readings were causing me a bit of confusion. Also, most of my friends say the NO version, either in the English, as in UK version or, the American one. I do at least two hours of the Monastic Diurnal from Farnborough, just to complicate matters. And, being in the Byzantine Church, with permission, for a while, complicated and made life very, very interesting. I love the Ukrainian and Ruthenian chant.

The upshot is, when I am visiting friends who say the Hours, we are not on the same page. Some of my  friends say the older, Tridentine form in Latin, such as the Solesmes version. All of this diversity is compounded by the Benedictines and Cistercians having permission to write their own versions, and use the Grail Translations. And, alas, there are the myriad non-approved, inclusive language Hours which many Carmelite and Benedictine nuns use in the States. It is a bit disconcerting to have so many individual versions, such as visiting three Benedictine monasteries of nuns in England with three different translations and modes of chant.

It makes me sad that we literally are not on the same page. To make matters even more interesting, in my travels, I have met this year the Irish calendar of saints, the Benedictine calendar, the Carmelite calendar, the NO and of course, the Tridentine calendars. I need a guide which would include all of these to keep memorials and feasts straight.

I have not been to a Dominican church for ages, since last year in Malta, where the Liturgy was in Maltese and the NO, but as to the Hours used, I do not know.

Of course, Baronius Press has the new, old Roman Breviary, which I know at least one person uses-it is pricey--

Here is an excellent site showing the variations. Does this bother anyone else but me? Why cannot we all just learn the Latin version with an addendum for different countries? Sigh, at least I would like to see the Benedictines coming around to one version. Clear Creek uses the one I use, I think, unless they have switched to the Baronius set. Maybe someone can comment on that to bring me up to speed.

And his Hermeneuticalist had a discussion on this a long time ago.